Attorney Matthew F. Larock of Simsbury, the former assistant legal director at the Department of Children and Families who served as DCF’s liaison with the Probate Courts, is the recipient of the Probate Courts’ 2014 Public Service Award.
“During Matt’s tenure, the Probate Courts, which handle children’s matters, as well as decedents’ estates and trusts, conservatorships and other matters, and DCF, the state’s child-protection agency, have strengthened their work to develop plans of care for children with the goal of keeping them, whenever possible, in the care of family members in a safe and familiar home environment,” Probate Court Administrator Paul J. Knierim said.
“I am humbled and honored to receive this award,” said Larock, who was recognized during the Connecticut Probate Assembly’s annual meeting April 7 at the Supreme Court in Hartford. “I was assigned to the position of liaison to the Probate Court system under somewhat difficult circumstances. However, when I met with probate administration, judges, Probate Court officers and clerks, I quickly learned that we shared a common interest and passion. I take great pride in the relationship and partnership that formed between DCF and the Probate Courts. I know our partnership has benefited the children and families we serve.”
Larock joined the Office of the Attorney General as an assistant attorney general in January after nine years at DCF, nearly six of them as the Probate Courts’ liaison. Previously, he was in private practice, handling criminal, juvenile, probate and family law matters. He earned his law degree from the University of Miami School of Law and is a graduate of Dickinson College.
Judge Knierim said Larock succeeded as DCF’s liaison because of his personal attributes as well as his professional expertise. “As important as what Matt accomplished is how he went about it. His friendly, easygoing manner, “can-do” attitude, willingness to listen, skill in solving problems, ability to motivate colleagues into doing the right thing – these qualities and many more are what made working with Matt so rewarding,” Judge Knierim said.
Larock thanked DCF Commissioner Joette Katz and Judge Knierim for the opportunity to serve, saying, “Our mutual success is based upon your incredible leadership and vision.”
The Public Service Award, given by the Office of the Probate Court Administrator and the Probate Assembly, recognizes supporters of the Probate Courts. Past recipients have included state Rep. Toni Walker and former state Sen. Toni Harp (2013); state Rep. Bob Godfrey (2011); and Linda A. Dow, legal counsel, Judicial Branch Human Resources (2010).